The Human Animal Preserved
Review by Carl on March 31, 2020.
The nightmarish artwork in the booklet gives you a good indication of what to expect. Grindcore infused early US brutal death metal with its roots firmly planted in the bands of earlier in the decade is what's on offer here. The kind of stuff that was quite prevalent in the late 90's and early 00's. A sound that holds true to the old traditions but hints at what's to come in later years in the form of bands like Skinless and Dying Fetus.
If there's one band that often pops up in my mind while listening to this, it's Deicide. Not only in the riffing and sparse leads but the dual vocals also have that Glen Benton edge, employing screams and growling grunts. The early sounds of Cannibal Corpse can't be denied either, but in its entirety Teratism's music mostly brings back memories to the sound of early 90's cult acts like Deteriorate, Morgue or Excruciating Pain, employing the same approach to song structures. In line with those bands, Teratism alternate thrashy tempos with grooving mid-tempo parts and blasting grinding throughout and it's in these fast parts that the spirit of old US grindcore bands like Hemdale or Exit-13 come peeping around the corner. This approach to their craft keeps the individual tracks varied so the music stays interesting, even after repeated listens. The members of the band sure know their way around their instruments, but there are a few slip ups here and there. The percussion isn't always that tight and the drummer occasionally clicks his sticks in some of the fills. The production could've used more body as well, now the guitars sound somewhat thin. These minor points aside, this leaves us with a decent, no frills death metal album that doesn't overdo it in technicality and keeps the approach vicious and pounding throughout its duration. And for me, that's what death metal should be.
Teratism might not have been the most original band of their time, but their ballsy approach to the music makes them a good example of the climate of death metal at the tail end of the 90's. Still heavily rooted in the US death metal sound of the early 90's but you can already hear in the music where death metal would go in the decade to follow.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10158